GOVERNOR Imee Marcos, firstborn of ousted dictator Ferdinand Marcos, has advice she wants people of her generation to take.

The 62-year-old politician thinks we should follow the lead of millennials and also move on. She also thinks it was only a conflict between the Aquinos and the Marcoses, that it “happened a long time ago,” and that “hating people for a very long time...is not our way.” She couldn’t have gotten it more wrong.

First, the millennials have not “moved on” if by that she meant forgetting that the Marcoses and their cronies plundered the Philippine economy, entrenching it on a destructive course from which it is still recovering; that many Filipinos were directly and indirectly harmed by the vicious policies and practices instituted to protect elite interests; and that these have warped vital social institutions.

Going by groups like Block Marcos led by young and very savvy activists and the presence of young women and men in activities protesting the burial of Marcos at the Libingan ng mga Bayani, it is clear that the millennials have not forgotten.

Second, this is not a mere case of two feuding families, which would make it a minor problem. It is a struggle of forces that favor and benefit from concentration of power and resources in the hands of a few and connivance with domestic and foreign interests against all Filipinos, regardless of their political orientation, who respect human rights and aspire for democratic ideals in the nation’s polity, economy, and culture.

Third, she may be right in that Filipino cultures are not necessarily hate-motivated, but neither is it the way of Filipino belief systems to tolerate injustice. From indigenous peoples, Islamized communities, to those that identify with Christianity and other religions, our beliefs emphasize forgiveness but equally stress admission of wrongdoing and contrition. Upfront apologies and making amends are not on the agenda of the Marcoses who have instead been systematically scheming to whitewash their records, revise historical narratives, and block and upend efforts to exact justice and accountability—all in the interest of getting back in power and once again dominate the country.

Even Imee’s message, delivered on the sidelines of a press conference in Cebu City, had been carefully crafted and has been studiously repeated.

The Marcoses know who to target. Liberally assuming that millennials are those born between the early 1980s and late 1990s towards 2000, they represent about 34 million Filipinos, about 32% of the projected 107 million population in 2018. Filipinos in their early 20s to their late 30s are strategically positioned. Many are middle managers in their fields of work and regarded as influential. They stand to assume leadership of our institutions in the years to come.

The Marcoses intend to use and step on the backs of Filipino millennials to get back to power. We have to work so that majority of the 34 million women and men will loudly say “not MY back.”

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